“Studies Show” and genetics.

A bit ago my mother tried to visit her sister.  I say tried, because my mother’s younger sister is 70 and in a mental care facility.  And I was reminded of a statement my mother once made of how she wouldn’t be surprised if her sister had undiagnosed cancer.  After all her sister had the same tonsil treatment she did and it gave HER cancer!

See… back in the early 50’s when my mother was a kid instead of going under the knife to remove tonsils, which everyone was doing back then, HER parents had her and her sister do a new treatment which “radiated” the tonsils away.  Combine that with the bad thyroid history in my family and its not really surprising my mother got thyroid cancer when she was mid-thirty.  She beat it by having it removed and trusting her gut by NOT going on chemo.  She’s been cancer free now for 35 years or so.

The point being…  same trigger, different outcome.  Some could say its genetics.  After all my mother and her sister don’t look very much alike so there is an obvious difference in their genes….and they’re very different in personality.   So those who point to that could be right.  But me….. I think it was all the pot my aunt smoked from the age of 16 on.  I mean, hippie level pot smokage here!   And with all the studies now about how great marijuana is for medical purposes, well, may she cured her cancer before it started!

Then I was thinking about how the experts say learning music helps with math.  I wonder… if Luke had stuck with his free music lessons in violin at school, would he be better at his Algebra?   The Algebra he failed in 11th grade and 12th grade and in his first year in college?   And that made me laugh.  I played piano for 5 years as a child and I barely squeaked by with a D at the Algebra Luke is struggling through.  And I took it twice also, with the same grade both times!!   With those facts, I might surmise that bad math is genetics that my kids obviously got from me.

And on the note of genetics…..

I remember my mother telling me not to shave my legs as a teen and to just bleach it away with lemon juice in the sun.  My leg hair was dark and hers was non-existant!  So as a teen, of course, I ignored that….  But these days as I’m showering and doing the usual places for a razor, legs & pits (other parts get a quick waxing by an expert lol), I’ve noticed that my body hair barely grows anymore.  I only need to shave now once a week!     And then  it clicks.  This must have happened to my mother and that’s why she thought it was fine to just bleach the few hairs she had!  It’s menopause!  My metabolism hasn’t slowed.  It’s down-right retired!   It has given the raspberry & the finger to “the boss”, tossed all its papers and responsibilities in the air and left the building!    And THAT is one of the biggest reasons I’ve been gaining weight over the last year!   My body is no longer using energy for menstrual cycles, hair growth, hair COLOR, good nail growth, skin moisturizing & elasticity and probably a lot of other functions I’m unaware of.  The Guildmen of my metabolism have gone on strike/vacation and all that’s left is me- the Lord ruler and the Surfs of my basic system.   Sadly, the greedy Tax Collector of my appetite is still levying taxes across the board and THAT is just packing on the pounds.

It doesn’t help that I work in a retail store which makes candy bars cheap and within easy grasp!

 

 

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Spillage

There are all kids of spillage in our lives…     And I’ve dealt with my fair share of it…..food, drink, lube, etc. But in all my experiences very little spillage had been worse than spilling my phone into a toilet.

It didn’t happen the way you think. I was NOT on my phone at the time, nor was I doing anything naughty. I was sitting there, doing my business with my phone in one hand (cuz I usually keep it in my back pocket so I take it out to NOT drop it into the toilet prepping to ‘sit’) And I noticed “something” on the toilet paper holder & thought I’d do a solid and clean it up.  And while doing that the phone slipped right out of my hands and into the water.

I leapt up instantly and fished it right out, battling the self flushing mechanism of the toilet. I dried it the best I could while pulling up my pants and watched in dismay as the screen when white & flickered.

What I didn’t know to do THEN (and I do now) was to power it completely off. I just helplessly dried it and rushed home. I knew to put it in rice, but didn’t know THEN (and I do now) that I should have NOT waited until I got home to do so. I didn’t know the rice trick was a time sensitive issue and I should have rushed down to the market section of Target and bought rice and ziplock bags. And when I got home I didn’t know I should put the phone into zip locked rice, not just IN rice.

So yes, my phone was a lost cause.

Which was an interesting experience being without a phone for two days.  I knew I relied upon it for a lot.  I just didn’t realize how much I do on it on a moment to moment basis.  For instance, I spent two days at work feeling confused about what day it was, what time it was, what my schedule was.  The phone makes my dyslexia so very easy to manage.  My own form of my family’s high anxiety, well conditioned since childhood by dyslexia is constantly questions my instincts, worried the dyslexia has me wrong.  So whenever that happens, I confirm it on my phone.  Example…

Me:   Today’s date is… the 10th… the 10th?  mmmm….yeah, I think it’s the 10th.  Are ya SURE!

With a phone I just check.  Without a phone, I question & question… & on that day, I laughed.  I’ve lived with this quirk of mine for so long I don’t let it stress me.  There have been so many challenges in my life that the minor ones just make me giggle.

So while many would freak losing their phone, I marveled at the new experience of appreciating just how much I used it for.  I checked 8 emails daily; half work, half personal, I was unable to check anything until I got home to my computer each day.  I had my calendar to remind me when I started and ended my work shifts and all my appointments ahead.  I had my contacts, and it was THOSE I realized I needed back!

See when I managed to take my phone to the Apple store, they were able to retrieve SOME of my data by linking to my iTunes account but not my contacts!  But I’d not gone in with my computer.  So after paying for a new phone ($300… ouch!) I rushed home to see if I could manage it at home.  And after a bit of searching found a backup dated a month before.  See, my phone hadn’t been able to sinc up to iTunes for months, so I had all these photos and contacts and videos that never uploaded.  The loss was sad but not nearly as sad as losing all my contacts.

But after another trip to the Apple store, computer in hand, we managed to get the backup uploaded and lo and behold my contacts were restored!!!

The true irony of the entire story was barely an HOUR before the Spillage I was bragging to a fellow employee (after seeing his banged up phone & him hearing how he’d dropped it so many times) about how my phone had been dropped at least 20 times, skidding under countless cars and “Look! Pristine!”

Gee, Fate…. did I really need a $300 lesson on being without a phone or was this a back of the head slap about being humble?

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Protected: Aaaannnd It’s December…the end of 2015.

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OMG… it’s November???

The older you get, the faster time goes.  I know its a perception thing and a “how busy we make our life” thing and a corny phrase to start a post with, but WOWZA, that’s how I feel today.   I can barely wrap my head around the fact we have a month and a half until the end of 2015.

Probably because October kind of drizzles a person into fall in SoCal.  It makes November slam right into you.  And probably because it’s the birthday month of Sex God and my youngest and the month where I have to help mom bake 30 fruitcakes AND do Thanksgiving.  So, yes, November is a slam month for me.

Top all that off with working 60 hour weeks, (37-40 at Target and 20 at Geddes) and parenting my struggling-with-life/reality-of-school children and I find myself living minute to minute in a whirlwind of “Oh Em Gee… has 8 hours passed already!!!”

Here is how busy I’ve been… I’ve had to cancel a play date with Ultimate Man twice… TWICE!!!   Who does that!!!  Who gives up amazing sex with a “still got the looks and the bod” ex-underwear model!  No one, that’s who!  Except a crazy busy woman who’s thinking… sleep, sleep would be nice.    And my libido has been quieter lately and I cannot tell if that’s due to being over 50, finished with menopause, sexual satisfaction, or a symptom of sleep deprivation!

But I will say, I’m happy.  I adore the Target job.  The people are great!  I’ve never worked with a group, all the way up the ladder, who are nice and polite to most everyone else in the same working boat.  Of course, there will be tweaks and jerks and impressions/judgements and attitudes, but for the most part they are set aside for the professionalism of the job when on the job.   I mastered cashiering pretty well after 2.5 months and they offered me a position as Baby Adviser on the sales floor.  I’ve been doing that for several weeks and it’s a much more difficult position to master.  Lots to learn and know and do quickly.  I’m JUUUST starting to feel I’m figuring things out but think I’ve run out of time because BLACK FRIDAY is almost upon us!

Yup… not only will this be the first time I’ve ever worked a Black Friday, it’s going to be the first time I’ve ever EXPERIENCED a Black Friday.  Not being a big shopper all my life, I’ve mostly done Xmas shopping with thrown cash or while I’m at Costco, picking up a thing or two I see there.    I know its going to be a baptism of fire, but after the work day I had yesterday (completely disappointing my supervisor) I’m more determined than ever to succeed.  Ironically, by the end of a day of, “you don’t know this yet?” I felt more empowered than beaten.  She walked me through it, step by step.  She corrected me when I misinterpreted instructions and laid out EXACTLY how she wanted a morning shift done.   I’m ready for tomorrow having spent hours trying to master it yesterday.

I wish my KIDS could have this experience.  Maybe then they wouldn’t take a scholastic defeat to personally and instead see it as a teaching moment to do better next time.   Conor is still lying to me about everything.  Telling me he’s doing better, done the work, eaten a damn vegetable and bam…. it’s a lie.   I was able to throw him a birthday party for the first time in 4 years (since the divorce) and he really enjoyed the LaserTag.  But I had to remove all his electronics from his life and restructure it around supervised homework.  He can no longer be trusted to be in charge of that, due to the lying.

Amusingly, the kid I used to have serious trouble with this, Evan (middle son-16) has turned a corner and taken charge of actually doing the work in the classroom so he doesn’t have to do it at home.  Now if he’d only take a more active role in his weight situation! lol  I want him around forever, cuz he’s such hilarious company!

Luke had to drop one of his two community college classes.  The bar there is higher and his essay writing just wasn’t up to snuff.  This first semester has been his own version of baptism of fire.  He and I will sit down and plan out his scholastic choices (something I never did when I went to college and should have) and focus on better performance next semester.

THIS… is a boring post.  So I’ll end it with a bit of spice.  Met an adorable 30 year old Cub the other night off the site.   I agreed to the meet even though I’m horrendously busy due to a few factors… my instinct said he had a great smile even though none of his pictures had him smiling (he did!) and his profile listed him as bi and poly.  Now, at 30 it is RARE to meet a man who not only knows he’s bisexual but that he’s polyamorous also.  I asked him about that and he admitted he always knew.   Evan as a kid he felt drawn to movies and situations where the main character loved two people.   I, of course, captivated him completely under my spell and he has delicious lips when kissing, but I shall have to see how well we click in the bedroom.

Assuming I can find the time for that!

Mmmmm… that reminds me, gotta see if Ultimate Man is free.

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Greed, Money, Capitalism

arguingI’m primarily a Liberal.  But I’m also a writer.  And what that means is I don’t arbitrarily hate what is different from me.  Not saying that Liberals do… nor their Conservative counterparts…. what I’m saying is I can see the logic and benefits of many sides of any issue.  I guess some would call me a Centrist in attitude and a Liberal in practice.

Couple months ago I went to a financial planning institution to straighten out my investments.  See, a few years back I did SUCH a good job at cutting costs (streamlining) and sales at my mother’s business that I got a SEP contribution.   My (then) husband was a trained financial planner so he opened a TD Waterhouse (now Ameritrade) account with it.  What he neglected to impress upon me tell me was I had to take charge of where I dispersed it.  And since I was raising 3 kids (4 if you counted him), working and going through peri- menopause, I completely ignored that account for 4 years.  Where it sat there, not even collecting interest!

In calling the company that handled my Roth IRA investments to see about name changes, etc last year I found out it wasn’t set up the way I wanted it originally.  See 17 years ago when I left a job to marry and move to Texas I had somehow accumulated a pension.  So I rolled it over into a Roth IRA through my new brother-in-law who worked for AmEx Financial Planning (now Ameriprise – don’t you love the erie similarity in names).  I told him I wanted it put into socially responsible mutual funds.   He frowned but I was firm and so I thought he’d done that.   I contributed to it a bit in the early years of our marriage but after the third kid, pretty much left it alone.  It grew.

After the recent phone call though I found out it wasn’t in socially responsible funds.  And after talking to him I didn’t feel he was willing to help me move it to where I wanted.   And then after talking to the Ameritrade woman, personally, I realized this attitude was a permanent structure in the entire investment community.   Those who lived and breathed Capitalism would never understand or connect with the likes of me.   They were ruled by the “More money at any costs” greed aspect that extreme Capitalism generates.

Her explanation that an investor had the right to expect “as much return as he could get” from a company just because he had chosen THAT company in which to invest his money.  Yes, it had a level of logic.  And I saw that logic.  What I noticed was SHE didn’t see was the greed in the statement “as much as he could get.”   And that is the true core problem in Capitalism.  Yes, investing in companies with great ideas moves forward progress and is a wonderful way to use excess money to benefit society.  BUT (and this is a HUGE but, a Baby Got Back butt) it should NEVER become more important than the people in the company working for the company or the customers supporting/benefiting from the company.  And THAT is a part of Capitalism that Greed has blinded most people from realizing.

She sited GM and Unions as an example.  I kept my mouth shut.  Yes, the Auto Union in GM seemed to have wound its way into wounding the company.  Yes, many of the positive need for Unions had disappeared as we grew a social conscience as a society.  But did she see that cutting salaries from the top down makes more of a social impression than gutting pensions?  No.  And I knew at that moment she never would.   So I didn’t bring up Costco vs Walmart as a better business plan.  I didn’t bring up how big business has finagled into their pockets all the gov. subsides meant to help the smaller business [farms].  I didn’t mention the business owner who took a giant pay cut so his employees could all make $70,000 a year.

I didn’t say any of that, because she was old school.  I could tell this from her over tanned, bleach blond, fake nail manicure, over 50 at least appearance… and her conversation of tickets to the Derby opening as Santa Anita and how she had 2 horses running.   Times are changing, albeit slowly, and she and I will be dead before we see the complete change, but social media is allowing people to put their money where their beliefs are and more and more people are standing up against greed.   Not as many as their needs to be in my opinion, but I also think (or perhaps I’m being idealistic)  the NEW entrepreneurs are going to go more in the way of the Costco, Starbucks business model than the GM or Walmart.

Either way, I realized then that, again, I was on my own in making sure this investment went where I wanted it to go.    So I’ve got some research to do on socially responsible mutual funds.  And maybe a quick tutorial on “balancing” a portfolio lol.  But I was firm about TWO stocks I wanted to buy.  Costco and Tesla.   She babbled about how no one purchases stocks unless its in 50 share bundles because that’s how you sell it.  But when I went online to handle my account, the computer had NO problem using half the funds to buy what Costco stocks I could afford and the other half to buy what Tesla stocks I could get with the balance.  See… what she doesn’t understand is I don’t plan on selling these.  This is my way of letting my money support business’s I believe in.  If it makes a profit, yay… if it doesn’t, well, it’s money that was more of a gift than earned.

I would rather live a poor but happy life than get sucked into the level of SOULLESS GREED is see at the top.

Go Bernie Sanders!!!  heeheehee

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Bastille – another 98.7fm concert win

Yes, I did it again.  Hey!  Don’t hate!  I just happen to be one of the FEW who enter the online contests instead of trying to win over the phone.  Of course, this win was last November (2014) and that’s how far behind I am in WRITING my blog posts!

Sex God and I

Sex God and I

The most interesting part was this win was at a bar instead of at the 987 Penthouse.  (I’ve since learned they have a new penthouse so perhaps back then they were in the process of being evicted.. lol.. they DID blow out the electrical several times!)   It was also smack dab in the daytime and downtown Hollywood.  So parking was challenging, we drank before noon and the small bar was crowded while we waited to get into the band area.   I did get a portable charger out of it 😀

Bastille (at that time) was my favorite band.  I was eating up their music and seeing them live was on my concert list.  Ironically, I was almost blase about the whole thing.   I was smack in the middle of seasonal work at Costco and I’d been scheduled to work a shift that day.  They managed to push my start time back but they said, “Get here when you can, we’ll take care of it.” not…  come in at 2pm.  So I was planning to rush to work after the concert to try and NOT piss them off.  It kind of took the thrill and excitement out of the concert.  Plus I couldn’t drink more than one light drink if I was going to be working!

032The band played their usual 4 songs and they were wonderful!  But we wanted to enjoy their music and performance more than wanted to see them up close so we ended up in a corner.  We had a great SIDE view of the band!    And they were introduced by the new morning crew of 98.7 The Woody Show.  I dislike the new morning show IMMENSELY and  seeing the crew didn’t change my impression of them in any way.

Once the concert was over, they didn’t mention anything about getting pix with the band and I was fretting about Costco so we scampered out and went on our way.  (I forgot to bring my tennies so I did my shift in my boots!  Ouch!)

I still enjoy Bastille’s music (even if they aren’t my fave anymore) and I would definitely choose to see them if they were at a festival.  But not so much in a single concert.   Single Concert choices is a SHORT list…   Mumford & Sons, Panic at the Disco, Saint Motel, Imagine Dragons & Twenty One Pilots are so far the only ones on THAT list.

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